“The Good Shepherd calls his sheep by name; it is up to us to train the ear to detect the sound of this voice who calls.”
In 2017 at the International Council (Consiglio) meeting, Francesca Cocchini shared with the group of international representatives, a sample from Sofia’s 1965 diary about how she began writing the I Am the Good Shepherd book series:
“January 1965, I have been asked by the Vicariate of Rome to prepare a program for the schools with a guide for teachers. This is a very great work. It is…catechesis with a baptism center… “I am so happy to give the Good Shepherd and baptism to all children of Rome.”
The books were first published in 1972 and are available through bookstores in Rome. They were revised and expanded in 2005 and published in early 2006. CGSUSA has been in the process of translating these 10 books from Italian.
This is a five-volume book series with a catechist guide and child’s workbook for each year designed for elementary-aged children from the ages of six to eleven years or first through fifth grades.
I Am The Good Shepherd Year 1 addresses key themes found in the Level I atrium but is written for the religious needs, capacities and skills of six-to seven-year-old children who need to have early reading and writing skills.
I Am The Good Shepherd Year 2 offers themes also given in the Level II atrium but is for 7-8-year-old children. The Year 3 books continue themes for the Level II aged children who are preparing for their sacraments as well as designed for 9-year-old children.
I Am The Good Shepherd Years 4 and 5 books focus on some of the themes found in the Level III atrium. These books are designed for 10-and 11-year old children, respectively.
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD YEAR 1
As CGSUSA catechists, you are invited to purchase this Year 1 set of I am the Good Shepherd – the catechist guide and the child’s workbook – so you can become familiar with its content. The catechist guide is $19.95 and the child’s workbook is $15.95. The catechist guide could serve as your ongoing study with Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi regarding the key themes first introduced to children in the Level I atrium.
While we anticipate that most of you, will only want or need one set of the Year 1 books for personal use, we know that some of you in the United States may wish to experiment using the books with children who are either not in the atrium currently or in a school setting without an atrium. They could be a tool for catechists serving children in an online setting, if attending the atrium is not possible due to circumstances of COVID. Again, please note, we only have Year 1 books available for first and possibly, second grade children. These books are not meant to be used in the atrium.
Catechists will need to have received formation at least in Level I to understand how to approach some of the presentations.
We plan to work with several groups in the U.S. who are piloting the books with children and offering their feedback to us. We would welcome others who wish to do the same. If you are interested in participating, please contact Karen Maxwell at [email protected].
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD YEAR 2
I Am the Good Shepherd Year 2 written by Sofia Cavalletti, offers themes also given in the Level II atrium for 7-8-year-old children with a particular focus on the Mass and the moral life. The I Am the Good Shepherd Year 2 Catechist Guidebook is $19.95 and the Child’s Workbook is $15.95.
The books could be a resource for children who are not able to be in an atrium or in a school setting without an atrium. The books could be a tool for catechists serving children online if attending the atrium is not possible due to COVID restrictions. These books are not meant to be used in the atrium nor will materials be needed.
We are in the experimental stages in using these books and as we requested for those purchasing the Year 1 books, those interested in the Year 2 books will benefit most by having completed CGS Level I catechist formation and some or all of Level II formation. CGS catechist formation gives a foundational understanding of children’s religious capacities and needs and the themes that comprise the presentations given to the children. The formation also can guide the catechist in how to best offer the presentations using the books to accompany the guidance found in the Catechist Guidebook.
We are continuing to work with a pilot group of catechists and formation leaders in the U.S. who are using the books with children. If you are interested in participating, please contact Karen Maxwell, [email protected].
This is a five-volume book series with a Catechist Guide and Child’s Workbook for each year for elementary-aged children ages six to eleven years or first through fifth grades. CGSUSA continues to be in the process of translating these 10 books from Italian.